2007: Global airports in review

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SYDNEY – 2007 was a year of contrasts for the world’s airport sector – a period in which Airport Business Daily celebrated its 1,000th edition.

Passenger traffic growth has been generally buoyant, with the freight sector staging a modest comeback in latter part of the year.

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SYDNEY – 2007 was a year of contrasts for the world’s airport sector – a period in which Airport Business Daily celebrated its 1,000th edition.

Passenger traffic growth has been generally buoyant, with the freight sector staging a modest comeback in latter part of the year.

Airports exposed to the low-cost carrier (LCC) sector, including those in Europe (led by airports including Vienna and Madrid), as well as Southeast Asia, Australia, Mexico, Brazil and India have performed strongly, but are presented with significant infrastructure challenges in 2008 and beyond.

Capacity has been a key challenge for major hub airports as well. Those without sufficient capacity have had a difficult 2007, including Heathrow, Bangkok, Beijing, Frankfurt, New York, Dubai and Los Angeles, with the overlay of added security requirements exacerbating problems.

On the other hand, some of the busiest hubs that have spare capacity have had a bumper year, including Paris, Hong Kong and Singapore.

Offshore investment has been led in 2007 by Fraport, Changi Airports International, Malaysia Airports and Turkey’s TAV, while units of other major operators, including Aeroports de Paris, have had important international contract wins in 2007.

2008 should provide further international investment opportunities, as airports, particularly in emerging markets, seek funding for infrastructure development and other privatization opportunities join the pipeline.

One deal that refused to be done in 2007 was one of the world’s most profitable airports; Auckland, while several deals were undone, including Macquarie Airports’ exit from Rome, British Airport Authority’s withdrawal from Australia and Copenhagen’s pullout from Hainan Meilan.
Hobart Airport in Australia set a new airport pricing benchmark and reinforcing the upwards trend in airport valuations worldwide over the past few years.

Meanwhile, consolidation continued in the catering and ground handling segments in 2007, and investment activity in both should continue to be strong in 2008 as the trend of outsourcing and moves by airports to bring in greater competition in airport services continues.

The following is a summary of some of the bigger reports covered by Airport Business Daily in the year that was 2007:

03-Jan-07: 9 billion passengers by 2025 – ACI releases new forecast
12-Jan-07: Traffic surging at Dubai & Beijing
23-Jan-07: Madrid Barajas’ growth fiesta
24-Jan-07: Move back to Don Mueang imminent?
31-Jan-07: Predicted doubling of airport traffic creates “daunting challenge” – ACI
16-Feb-07: ATM the focus of improving efficiency
22-Feb-07: Saudi Arabia following Abu Dhabi’s corporatization steps
28-Feb-07: New global hand baggage rules imminent
02-Mar-07: Asia Pacific airports to benefit from surging airline capacity
12-Mar-07: Changi’s impressive 2007 offshore expansion
15-Mar-07: Macquarie Airports to sell Rome?
21-Mar-07: TAV flying high
22-Mar-07: Menzies on the path to global ground handling domination
23-Mar-07: History on the Atlantic! EU-US open skies deal signed
29-Mar-07: Happy Birthday to Asia’s dedicated LCC terminals
05-Apr-07: Athens ready for IPO after strong results
10-Apr-07: Fraport accelerates foreign investment pace
12-Apr-07: Argentina and Brazil to demilitarize ATM operations
02-May-07: Jordan secures capacity Amman expansion
07-May-07: Prague performs ahead of privatization
16-May-07: USD60 million needed for US airport development EVERY DAY!
18-May-07: Airports of Thailand suffers from Suvarnabhumi chaos
25-May-07: UAE’s USD19 billion airport investment plan – justified?
31-May-07: Catering consolidation continues
01-May-07: No returns soon on Ferrovial’s BAA investment
05-Jun-07: Hong Kong International Airport officially opens T2
06-Jun-07: MAp continues its moneymaking formula
07-Jun-07: Copenhagen pulls out of Hainan
20-Jun-07: Dublin Airport Authority ready to construct T2;
28-Jun-07: Sun shines at the Gold Coast
09-Jul-07: Hobart Airport on the market
10-Jul-07: Malaysia Airports and GMR win Istanbul airport contract
11-Jul-07: Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson Airport late and over budget, as Delta goes international
13-Jul-07: Dnata moves into Australia
16-Jul-07: Melbourne Airport’s ‘low cost’ future
24-Jul-07: DAE airports sets cornerstone in Auckland
26-Jul-07: Mexico’s GAP flying high on LCCs
30-Jul-07: Brazil targets radical shake-up of airports
31-Jul-07: MAp enters the Japanese market
02-Aug-07: Worldwide airport traffic grows strongly in first half
06-Aug-07: Fraport takes control of Lima
08-Aug-07: Will China’s aviation industry be ready for the Olympic Games?
13-Aug-07: Kuala Lumpur to become the biggest LCC hub in the world
21-Aug-07: Super growth Delhi and Beijing suffering from congestion
04-Sep-07: Worldwide traffic growth accelerating
06-Sep-07: DAE loses its cornerstone, walks away from Auckland
10-Sep-07: Portuguese airport profits surge ahead of privatization
13-Sep-07: Grilling up more catering consolidation
14-Sep-07: Asian cargo volumes back on track, but earnings picture mixed
18-Sep-07: Beijing squeeze – New terminal faces testing times
26-Sep-07: Atlanta’s new international terminal project wins key approval, amid budget blowout
01-Oct-07: Prague Airport profits ahead of privatization
04-Oct-07: Proposed price cap at Heathrow to trigger BAA sales?
16-Oct-07: European Parliament renew call for airports Master Plan
18-Oct-07: Second airport for Beijing – China to develop Low Cost Airport
22-Oct-07: Planning for growth an effective environmental strategy: ACI
23-Oct-07: Is airport privatization running out of steam?
29-Oct-07: Macau Airport reports surging LCC numbers
01-Nov-07: Hong Kong and Gold Coast airports big winners at CAPA’s Aviation Awards for Excellence 2007
02-Nov-07: Auckland Airport remains slippery to foreign investors
05-Nov-07: Japan opens up access to 23 regional airports
07-Nov-07: ACI warns of capacity crunch – targets ‘carbon neutral’ airports
09-Nov-07: BAA quietly exits Australia
22-Nov-07: Heathrow in the fight of its life – third runway backed by government
20-Dec-07: Short-term measures to reduce New York congestion welcomed, but concerns over possible slot auctions

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About the author


Editor in chief is Linda Hohnholz.